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New York City and Niagara Falls

Author: cruisenut2001 (More Trip Reviews by cruisenut2001)
Date of Trip: April 2007

Day 3, April 16, Monday

Toronto and real shopping. Weather was kicking up again with strong winds and heavy rains. What else is there to do on a day like this, but shop?

Outings: Drove up to Toronto for a wonderful time on Yonge Street. Once we got on the QEW the weather improved greatly and we arrived in about 2 hours. Canada has more than it’s share of bad drivers, watch out for drivers going very slow in all lanes. My DW, bless her soul, loves shopping at The Bay and wouldn’t you know it, their fine china was 50% off. She saved me a lot of money this day.

Wish we had more time here to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame and other sites, but that will be another vacation. Rush hour was going on when we left so it took about 3 hours getting back.

We had dinner at Max’s Classic Grill, the restaurant near the Holiday Inn at the airport. The food and the price were good. There is a Denny’s in front of the Best Western, but tonight it was closed for kitchen repairs.

Day 4, April 17, Tuesday

Big Apple Here We Come. Dropped off the rental car and went to the Jet Blue counter to check in for our 11:15 flight to JFK. We were expecting a large crowd, because of all the delays and cancelled flights the day before, but there was just a normal amount of people. No one was in line at the counter so everything went very smoothly.

The seats on the commuter jet were very narrow and the extra legroom didn’t make it more comfortable. We landed at JFK on time at 12:30 without any delays. No problem at baggage claim or in getting a cab, in fact from plane to cab was probably less than 20 minutes.

Getting to the hotel was a different story. We arrived at the Crowne Plaza – Times Square about 14:30 and there were no rooms ready. We checked our bags with the Bell Captain and had lunch at the Samplings restaurant in the hotel. My wife’s Curry Chicken and my Penne were excellent ($40).

The room was ready after we ate and, boy, were we ready just to take our shoes off and kick back. We had asked for a king bed, but the room had two doubles. Since we liked the view of Times Square, we left well enough alone. Our room, 2605, had a great view of Broadway, 7th, 49th, and 50th.

Outings: We walked around Times Square looking for where the play would be the next day and for subway entrances. We bought two 7-day MetroCards ($24 each) and called it a day.

The Crowne Plaza is in a great location as it’s not far from the center of Times Square and only a ½ block to the Yellow Line subway (NRQW, color referring to the MTA route map).

Day 5, April 18, Wednesday

Broadway Play and Little Italy Day!

Outings: We bought tickets through Ticketmaster for the A Moon for the Misbegotten matinee and the theater was two blocks from the hotel. We bought the premium seats (very expensive) and were center, third row. I’ve been to plays several times in the past, but to be within arms reach of Kevin Spacey, Eve Best, and Colm Meaney was an experience I won’t soon forget. Eve Best was absolutely the best and played well against Colm Meaney (played the father wonderfully). Kevin Spacey played the part perfectly, but I didn’t like the way the director was staging the scenes. Spacey’s character was just too unbelievable; nobody has mood swings that drastic. That said, it is still a great play. The line for the discounter, TCKTS, runs about 1-1/2 blocks, if you’re looking for a good deal.

We went back to the hotel after the play to dress down a little for our journey to Little Italy for pizza. We chose Lombardi’s (32 Spring St. at Mott) and were not disappointed. We ordered a large Margarita pizza and did not waste a crumb ($25 w/drinks). We didn’t try John’s Pizza, but can say that Lombardi’s was the closest to what we had in Italy. We saw two guys go through a small pizza in about 5 minutes, so if you’re hungry don’t be afraid to order the bigger pizza. Getting to Lombardi’s was very easy by subway. We took a yellow train to Union Square, walked over to a green train, and got off on Spring St. We read about the Express (center track) trains, so took only the local (outside track) trains. Since we were traveling only in Manhattan we just looked for subway signs saying downtown or Brooklyn when going south and uptown or Queens when going north, very simple.

Day 6, April 19, Thursday

“Honey, what’s that yellow orb in the sky?” Ground Zero tour and an expensive dinner.

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